Sometimes the moments that challenge us the most, define us

Deena Kastor

Sunday, November 7, 2010

You are Not a Cat

I will never forget the day during a not so good time in my life when I was given a very important piece of information. It wasn't advice-just words to live by. It was a time when I had just about given up on life and had taken many chances, nearly coming close to the end. But sitting across from me one morning was a woman who seemed to have much more faith in me than I had in myself. Our conversation was coming to an end and there was that last pause that sometimes happens before one or both people get up to leave. She looked at me and I was looking out the window to the right and she said to me, "You are not a cat". I turned and looked at her and then the floor and said, "ok".

Honestly, I didn't think about what she said to me until years later. But it's true, we are not cats, we don't have nine lives-only one.  And I try to remember that and recite it to myself every time I feel afraid to try something new, or hesitant to say something that I know is important or would make another person feel better. Or, when I run.

There are many brave people in the world who do great things and make the one life they have count. Just think of all the moms and dads in the world who take on the challenge of raising human beings. Now, that's what I call being brave, especially when they are trying to work and get straight A's in parenting at the same time. A  good parent knows that he/she is not a cat and that their children are not cats either.

I know that this blog has not been about the specifics of my training for April. But it has been about running. Running for me, is a reflection of my life. It's slow and uncomfortable sometimes. It involves triumph over adversity and an unbelievable amount of patience. I've learned to love myself and my body and it's ability to do amazing things.  And like many people I have developed an deep appreciation for the human heart-the way it keeps us alive and helps us to feel compassion.

I imagine though, as my training becomes more challenging I will be telling you all of my new found aches and pains that are uncommon for those who run just one marathon (you know-the NORMAL people!) And I will be sorry for boring you all to death, but hey, maybe I am already:) The thing is runners like to talk about running and in my experience the only people who like to hear about running are other runners. Just ask my husband. I'm sure by April he would pay a million dollars to anyone who could convince me to try another sport.

So, eat a little bacon, go sky diving, write the letter you've been meaning to write, send your sister the  eyeshadow she let you borrow for your wedding, start going to the gym (ASAP), tell that one person you love them. What are you waiting for? are not a cat.



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